What we do
PREVENTING TORTURE FOR PERSONS DEPRIVED OF THEIR LIBERTIES...
UNDERSTANDING AND IMPLEMENTATION OF TORTURE PREVENTIVE ACTIONS
• In November 15, 2012 the Albanian Parliament ratified the UN Convention of the rights of persons with disabilities – the most powerful instrument in the light of all measures, legal interventions, services provided to categories of persons with special needs. The European Court of Human Rights Case Law and judgments are considered a strong referral for ARCT in order to address the needs of persons with disabilities, in places of deprivation of liberty. ARCT has introduced the Protocol on the documentation of torture and violence, referred to the Istanbul Protocol.
• Human Rights Advocacy at the UN: ARCT has used the accreditation status to discuss the role of non-governmental organizations in contributing to UN human rights mechanisms, including shadow reporting. Choosing the Universal Declaration for Human Rights and the UNCAT has ensured an indisputable legal and political basis that helps achieving sustainable results: (a) promote sustainable changes in attitudes and practices in places of detention, (b) monitoring of places of detention (c) development of staff capacities and expertise, and (d) empower CSOs as monitors.
• We have consolidated our internal methodology in monitoring, documentation of torture and ill-treatment, focusing on legal, medical and institutional aspects; education, and individual representation to the most vulnerable people deprived of their liberty.
ARCT was the first organization in the country introducing the tailored-made format of Documentation of Torture in prisons, based on the implementation of the Istanbul Protocol. The format has been successfully used and cases of ill-treatment are referred to Prosecution for criminal investigations (ARCT Monitoring evaluates as best practices referrals from Lezha and Fushë-Kruja Prisons, Women’s Prison in Tirana and Kruja Special Institute).
• We have cooperated with prisons staff (health care, education and police) and the GPD Training Centre, in promoting the proper standards of work for vulnerable Groups in prisons. We provide help for the victims of police brutality, violence in prison, access to health, and treatment, court representation and legal aid to those suffering from chronic diseases and mental disabilities.
• We have litigated for legislative and administrative changes that help to improve the humane conditions in places of detention, reduce the risk of violence, improve prisons’ services, and promote a community based treatment for mentally- ill persons, and vulnerable groups. A consistent pressure on the state authorities to adhere to national and international law and standards has been provided through many recommendations and issues raised.
Special Attention was paid to coordinate measures with regards to CAT Concluding remarks to Albanian government.
• Persons who have experienced torture and other human rights violations, suffer from psychological and often simultaneous physical afflictions. The most common of these occur in the form of pain, which may come from actual physical injuries, but often this pain has psychosomatic origins. These are the physical expression of the feelings that have been experienced during the traumatization.
We empower hundreds of existing and new torture victims every year by informing them of their legal rights through direct services and refferals, as well as by developing and distributing information in print. What we publish is accessible in our website: http://www.arct.org; the interest was increased, raising the number of visitors every day. More than 15 titles are annually published: quarterly bulletins, manuals, newsletters, posters, flyers, leaflets, etc.
• We provide prison staff training for the newly established and existing penitentiary institutions, through well developed and professional training materials and specific mechanisms in place for the legal, education, medical and police staff. More than 160 health care professionals (medical doctors, assistants, nurses and support staff, educators, police officers benefited from ARCT expertise and activities).
(Latest update, February 8th 2013)